The Daily Kos reports on the escalation in the Persian Gulf and possible disastrous consequences stemming from an excessive anti-Iranian policy. Excerpt:
So how do you minimize the risk that a minor flashpoint will escalate quickly into a grave crisis? Not this way.
(Chief of Naval Operations) Admiral Roughead said he worried such behavior could have escalated unintentionally into a military confrontation before either side could call for a halt. “I do not have a direct link with my counterpart in the Iranian Navy,” he said. “I don’t have a way to communicate directly with the Iranian Navy or Guard.”
Adm. Roughhead was speaking of the episode from Jan. 6. Yet his concern could have applied to any of the confrontations in the Persian Gulf between U.S. and Iranian naval vessels up until now. How is it possible that the most potent navy the world has ever seen is incapable of opening a simple line of communication with rival commanders in order to prevent an unwanted and potentially disastrous war from breaking out? The U.S. prefers to cast the blame for bad relations entirely upon the Iranians, but it’s time (or nearly so) for American leaders to engage in a little introspection. For example, I found this remark by Adm. Roughhead ironic under the circumstances:
“Professional navies do not operate that way,” he said, during an interview with Globe reporters and editors. “That to me is an issue that does not help the security and stability in that part of the world. It is a very constrained passage, a very critical passage for so many countries. That sort of behavior is extraordinarily unhelpful.”
He’s referring, again, to Iranian actions last Sunday. But he could just as easily have been discussing U.S. inaction in opening up regular communications with Iranian naval commanders. How does refusing to talk to the Iranians “help the security and stability in that part of the world”?
Irancove @ January 13, 2008